A BURGLAR who stole jewellery, an antique watch and electrical equipment from a York house was caught after deliberately leaving behind a newspaper with his fingerprints on it.

Mark Andrew Foley, 39, was jailed for six and a half years after admitting the offence and four other burglaries where he had also left behind incriminating evidence, including a screwdriver, a sock and blood on a door.

He had broken in to a house in Broad Acres, Haxby, during the day on July 18 last year while the householder was out and stole items including a fob watch more than 100 years old.

But he left behind a newspaper that was later found to have his prints on, Leeds Crown Court heard.

The victim described feeling vulnerable and upset by the burglary, said Martin Robertshaw, prosecuting. Foley then committed a similar burglary in Kirkcroft, Wigginton, on August 16, stealing electrical goods and jewellery worth more than £2,000, some of which was later found at his home.

Mr Robertshaw said Foley was on bail later in the year when he committed three more burglaries in West Yorkshire.

At one house he left behind a screwdriver, with his partner’s DNA on, while at another property his blood was found on a door panel, and at another house he left a sock near the patio doors which linked him to the offence by DNA.

Ian Cook, for Foley, said he had left items at the houses and gave himself up to police on December 28 because he wanted to be locked up.

He had an “awful” record for burglaries as a younger man when he committed offences to fund his drug misuse, but then kept out of trouble for several years under the good influence of his partner, the court heard.

However, he suffered depression and had low moods after his medication was changed, and he returned to heroin.

With his drugs problem spiralling out of control, Foley was desperate to stop himself and began leaving items for the police to discover.

Foley, of Brander Drive, Gipton, Leeds, admitted the five burglaries.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC told him he had a “dreadful” record for house burglaries and in the recent cases very little of the £10,000-worth of property he stole had been recovered, while his victims had to live with the distress caused.